Formal Introductions first so that you know who we are. I am Eric and at the time we actually turn our last 2 years of planning and dreaming into reality I will have just turned 57 years old. My travelling partner is my wife, friend and confidante Sharon (Shazza) who is ** years old (more than my life’s worth to put her age into print on a publically viewed blog) but will go a long way in explaining the constant smile on my face if that old adage is true, you know the one that says “You are only as old as the woman you feel”. Remember too those other sayings, “Life is for Living” and “Shrouds don’t have pockets” and I am sure that those of you that read our blog will have several other’s that are quite apt.
We are both ordinary people from ordinary backgrounds doing ordinary jobs. We have not won the lottery and are funding our adventure solely through the equity we raise from the sale of our house (after re-payment of the mortgage), sale of our furniture, and from what we have managed to save in the 6 years we have been married. We could of course just carry on with our ordinary lives and ordinary jobs until we reach retirement age.
Although we know that we cannot stop the ageing process we could live in hope that when we did finally reach ‘state pension’ retirement age (66, 67, 68………?) that we would both still have the health and fitness as well as the motivation to go ahead and fulfil our dreams of doing extended touring trips of Europe. The reality though is we could wait all this time only to find that for whatever reason, be it financial or health reasons, that we may not be able to fulfil those travelling ambitions. One day we may find ourselves sitting in our garden looking out at our well-manicured lawn and flower beds and say those immortal words…… ‘If Only’.
Well we have decided that there will be no saying ‘If Only’. Whilst we both have our health and fitness, no pre-existing medical conditions, the time and opportunity has arrived to shake off the burdens that go with working for a living (Paying Taxes, N.I. and Pension Contributions) as well as the expenses associated with owning and maintaining a property. So it is, after 41 years and 32 years respectively, it is now time to get off this particular treadmill of life and utilise what Capital we have to get out into that big wide world and explore Europe. We want to do this at our own pace in our own time and with the luxury of having no more of those Sunday evening syndromes. You know the ones, about tea time on a Sunday evening your mind starts to drift to thoughts about the working week ahead and you find yourself hoping that next weekend will come quickly. Well our adventure will have no such things as weekends or even weeks or months just 365 days in a year to do as much or as little as we want with no time constraints to do it in.
‘Big Momma’ is our 2010 Fiat Auto trail Comanche and at 8.7m long and a 6 wheeler she is our luxury apartment on wheels with all the extra’s required for living 24/7 for 52 weeks and however many years this adventure takes to complete. To assist Shazza with map reading we have “Snoopy”, this is our Snooper Venture S7000 Satellite Navigation System which is actually more than just a run of the mill Satnav device but probably more about that as we progress on our travels. To help us get the most out of this adventure we also have ‘Kevin’, an American inflatable Sea Eagle Kayak that is suitable for use in some pretty rough ‘White water’ rapids, not that we (that should be ‘I’) intend to use it in such conditions, well not unless Shazza inadvertently (on purpose) takes us on some unplanned rapids that is !! Like me, readers of this blog will soon come to learn that when Shazza uses the words “Don’t worry we will be alright” it usually means that she is about to lead me into some sort of situation that see’s us surviving (well up until now) more through luck than good judgement. When we need a little less strenuous activity we have ‘Quartz’ Batribikes, these are fold up electric bicycles with full road lights, mudguards and a set of panniers on the rear to assist with carrying home essential provisions like food and perhaps the odd bottle or two of ‘vino calapso’ as well as transporting us on exploration trips around country lanes, cycle paths, canal towpaths or anywhere else we can get on two wheels rather than two feet. But just so that we do not become too lazy and perhaps with a small need to keep the waist lines in check, we also have the trusty walking boots, hiking poles, backpack rucksacks and the all essential wet weather clothing.
So please feel free to come and join us on our adventure, travel with us to who knows where, doing who knows what and for as long as it lasts because we have finally……………. ‘Dundreamin‘